Lightroom Tutorials / Photography

How To Blur The Background In Lightroom

blur background in lightroom

If you were wondering how to blur the background in Lightroom, then you should know that it’s quite an easy process. 

Why would you need to blur the background? Well, the blur gives an impressive effect, and if you don’t have a lens with a very small aperture, you will need to add it in post-production. Whether you’re doing a portrait photoshoot or need to edit some wedding pictures where the subject needs to be in the center of the attention, then the blur is going to be a life-saver!

We’re going to go through this tutorial, and show you how to give an impressive effect to your photos, just by using Lightroom. 

1. Open Your Photo In The Development Tab

In order to be able to start editing your photo, you should be in the “Develop” tab. Here, you will see all the effects, presets and filters you can apply to your photo.

blur background in lightroom

2. Create A Radial Filter

With a radial filter, you will be able to only edit a part of your photo. You can use it to enhance the colors, change the exposure, and even blur the background of your photo.

When you apply it, you should know what the subject of your photo is and apply it there. Simply drag and drop the circle after you select it from the menu. You can move it after you create it, so there’s no problem if the placement is not perfect from the first try.

3. Invert The Filter

In your effects control tab, you should scroll until you find the “Invert” button. In general, the filter will affect everything inside, so it should be checked if you want to blur the background.

4. Blur The Background

After your filter is in place, it’s time to start blurring the background by adjusting the sharpness and clarity of that filter. Since my photo was shot with f/14, there’s no blur whatsoever, so I need to play a little with it. It’s important to mention that as you edit the background, you may also need to expose it a little because it may get too dark.

blur background in lightroom

When you’re done editing, simply press “Done” at the bottom of your screen and you will see your final results. If you’re not happy with it, you can always select the radial filter again and edit it until it matches your needs. You can always change the feather level until the transition looks perfect to you. 

Of course, this is a simple blur you can do in Lightroom, but if you want to really step up your game, you can create an impressive bokeh in Photoshop by combining two pictures. Ultimately, no matter what you do, it’s still best if you managed to get that blur directly from your camera, as it looks a lot more natural. 

In the meantime, it’s great to know how to blur the background in Lightroom and work on it until you find the perfect combination!


About Author

As a digital marketer, Andreea also has an incredible passion for photography, so she's here to give you all the information you need on the topic!

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